Originally Posted by Eugene
I read Dr. White's book with interest. It was one of the things that led me to a point of self-acceptance, and it helped start me down the path of coming out after 40 years as a closeted evangelical.
Wonderful! You know, Eugene, if all the closeted evangelicals were to suddenly come out, the heterosexual evangelicals would probably react much like Peter did when he witnessed the "sheet lowered from heaven" (Acts chapter 10). With strong emotion they might initially shout, "Surely not, Lord!" But afterwards, they would finally understand the truth that what God has made clean, they are not to call unclean.
You wondered if there were other conservative gay evangelicals. Eugene, I can personally introduce you to several! However, I am not one myself. Though growing up Southern Baptist, there certainly were times when I was.
Since that time, I have come to understand God's love in a more inclusive way. For me, I have found the liberal social gospel to be much more in step with the real "passion of Christ" that I find in the gospels. And it seems to me that several gay and lesbian Christians who grew up fundamentalist or strongly conservative, have now been liberated on sexual orientation, yet remain in bondage to the very things that caused them to be excluded in the first place.
To be sure, traditionalism has a proper role. And yet in the history of religion, traditionalism so often has worked against what the Spirit was doing. The Pharisees were zealous about God, yet their traditionalist-driven arguments for excluding certain people frustrated Jesus to no end.
My gay and lesbian friends who identify as conservative evangelical (or as conservative pentecostal) sometimes similiarly frustrate me. For example, they can understand how God accepts them as a homosexual person, yet cannot seem to understand how God could fully accept a Jewish person as a Jewish person and not simply view that individual as a "potential Christian."
Regarding Soulforce, some would say that together we are working towards the day when gay evangelicals can go back to their churches and be accepted, when lesbian Catholics can return fully embraced, when GLBT Jews can return to temple and be welcomed and affirmed. But in the process, on this journey, I think we're learning a great deal more about what it means to be people of God. And I feel we're experiencing the furious love of a God who makes himself known to many people in many ways.
I'm glad you're here, Eugune, and I hope you'll walk with us!